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Presented by: Karen Siris

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1 Presented by: Karen Siris
The Dignity for All Students Act : Requirements, Guidelines and Implementation Strategies SAANYS 40th Annual Conference Traveling the Road Ahead Presented by: Karen Siris

2 STATISTICS 39% of students reported that bullying, name calling, and harassment pose a serious problem at school. 66% reported that people at school were harassed at least “sometimes” because of their looks or body size, 57% reported that students were bullied or harassed “sometimes” because of the way they expressed their gender (GLSEN, 2010) 50% of high school students (2010) admit they bullied someone in the past year 47% admit that they were bullied, teased or taunted in a way that seriously upset them in the past year (Josephson School of Ethics, ,000 students surveyed)

3 Are Incidents Reported?
Adults are often unaware of bullying problems (Limber, 2002; Skiba & Fontanini, 2000) 60% of year olds say they were victims of violence, abuse or crime but less than 30% told authorities

4 Bullying is…. an intentional act of aggression, based on
an imbalance of power, that is meant to harm a victim either physically or psychologically. usually occurs repeatedly and over time, however sometimes can be identified in a single event.

5 Harassment – the creation of a hostile environment by:
Harassment is the creation of a hostile environment by: Harassment – the creation of a hostile environment by: conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for their physical safety conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse includes but is not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being

PHYSICAL Hitting, punching, tripping Kicking, pushing, scratching Damaging/stealing property VERBAL Name calling, teasing, taunting Making offensive remark Making discriminatory remarks Verbally threatening, intimidating SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL/ RELATIONAL Excluding or threatening to exclude Spreading rumors, gossiping Ostracizing, alienating Using threatening looks or gestures Extortion CYBERBULLYING Use of the internet or cell phone to harass and intimidate


8 Spotting “the bully” Bully may possess a superior trait Attractive
Athletic Sociable Bully leads by intimidation Others follow to avoid becoming the next Bully gains power by the amount of followers MORE FOLLOWERS = MORE POWER

9 Characteristics of Bullies
Lack Empathy Display Verbally Aggressive Behavior Display Physically Aggressive Behavior Bullies have average levels of self esteem Intimidate Classmates Seek Power in Relationships Provoke Fights

10 Long Term Effects on the Bully
Nearly 60 percent of boys who researchers classified as bullies in grades six through nine were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24. Even more dramatic, 40 percent of them had three or more convictions by age 24.

11 The Bully/Victim Cycle
Identification with the Aggressor Victims who have been repeatedly bullied often have an increase in aggression When they are put in a position of control or power they identify with the bully and do onto others what has been done to them Thus the victim becomes the bully

12 Social Anxiety Disorder Lack Social Skills (socially awkward) Pleasers
Passive Victims Social Anxiety Disorder Lack Social Skills (socially awkward) Pleasers Compliant Fear of Confrontation

13 Provocative Victims are:
Restless Irritating to others Seen teasing and don’t know when to stop Likely to fight back, but lose Emotional Often diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder

14 Cyber Victims Cyber victims reported higher rates of depression than cyber bullies or bully victims Cyber victims may not be able to identify their harasser and are more likely to feel isolated, dehumanized or helpless at the time of the attack

15 Effects on the Victim Anxiety Loss of self-esteem into adulthood
Decrease in attention/grades Decrease in attendance/involvement Decreased socialization/increased isolation Physical Symptoms: headaches, fatigue, stomach problems Increase in acting out behavior Suicide/Homicide

16 The Bystanders DEFINTION: —those who watch bullying happen or hear about it.  

17 Bystanders: PASSIVELY accept bullying by watching and doing nothing
PROVIDE the audience a bully craves and the silent acceptance that allows bullies to continue their hurtful behavior                INSTIGATE the bullying by prodding the bully to begin ENCOURAGE the bullying by laughing, cheering, or making comments that further stimulate the bully

18 Other bystanders . . . directly intervene, by discouraging the bully, defending the victim, or redirecting the situation away from bullying. . . .  get help, by rallying support from peers to stand up against bullying or by reporting the bullying to adults. 

19 Why don’t more bystanders intervene?
They fear getting hurt or fear retribution (becoming the next victim) They feel powerless to stop the bully.     They don’t like the victim or believe the victim “deserves” it. They think that telling adults won’t help or it may make things worse. They don’t know what to do.

20 WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO Schools need to implement bullying prevention and intervention strategies that fit their school culture Establish a district policy to prevents and intervenes in all forms of bullying, cyberbullying and harassment

21 WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO Commit to training all constituents of the school community in prevention and intervention strategies Establish a bully intervention team (BIT) at the school building level to insure adherence to the district policy….

22 Positive Culture (what we do in schools) = Positive School Climate (how we feel in schools)
All adults in school: Display warmth, positive interest and involvement talk to each other and students with respect and understanding alert other staff members if they are displaying unacceptable behavior toward a student

23 Bully Intervention Team
Who: Principal, mental health professionals, guidance counselors, teachers, non-teaching staff (aides, bus drivers, custodians) What: Create a bully intervention plan that includes methods for prevention and intervention of all types of harassment

24 Bully Intervention Team:
Creates anti-bullying policy Creates a reporting system that uses a “DECISION TREE” with specific plans of action when incidents are reported Develops and publicizes hierarchal consequences for bullying behaviors Develops intervention strategies and trains stakeholders Reward pro-social behaviors that support the policy

25 Incident Interview Who does the interview?
How will the interview be conducted? When will the interview take place? Where will the interview occur? What form will be used?

26 Disciplinary Consequences/Supports
Consequences should be hierarchial… should correspond to severity of offense as well as repeated offenses Restorative Justice strategies to rehabilitate the bully, support counseling for the target/victim Can range from verbal warning all the way to suspension, alternate school placement, and if severe enough report to law enforcement

27 Therapeutic Discipline Strategies
Mental health evaluation by school staff Mental health evaluation by outside agency Services: School based counseling Outside counseling Out of district therapeutic placement

28 Establish Clear Consequences for Failure to Report
...For personnel who do not report information regarding bullying and other threatening behaviors (similar to child abuse mandates) Establish and enforce clear consequences for students who do not report information regarding bullying and other threats of violence.

29 Victim-Intervention Give victims a VOICE
Teach victims to say NO!-verbally and with appropriate body language Teach victims to travel with a buddy

30 Victim- Counseling to change behaviors which increase the likelihood of being victimized to reduce sensitivity Provide assertiveness training groups Involve parents appropriately.

31 Bully-Intervention change the dynamics of power so that the bully is not overtly or covertly reinforced by the teacher, coach or other authority figures identify the bully as having anti-social behaviors which will lead to trouble listen to the bully and give him/her a point person to speak with whose role is to help the bully use their leadership skills in a positive manner, emphasizing cooperation, collaboration and equality. develop empathy in bully

32 Bystander Intervention
“The whole drama is supported by the bystander. The theater can’t take place if there’s no audience.” (Labi, N. “Let Bullies Beware.” Time online, March 25, 2001.) ENCOURAGE bystanders to: Speak up to bullies if it is safe to do so Band together as a group against bullies Avoid joining in Ask adults for help Reach out as friends to isolated peers, be an ally, offer support Continue to offer victim support at future time

33 Telling vs. Tattling Tattling
“When you tell on someone to get them in trouble.” Telling - Reporting “When you are telling an adult because you are trying to keep yourself safe, someone else safe or keep the school safe.”

34 Parent Education Parents will be taught to recognize
the signs of bully and victim behaviors Parents will be encouraged to model appropriate upstander behavior Parents will be taught when and how to intervene Parents will learn how to report incidents Parents will learn how to support children who are being victimized by bullying and cyber bullying Parents need to confront excuses and not accept the answer “just joking.”

35 All adults in school: praise positive actions
maintain positive tone with students throughout the day structure activities to minimize opportunities for exclusion

36 Reward bystanders for intervening or reporting bullying.
Establish a system of rewards that positively reinforces Pro-Social Behaviors Rewards should be given to those adults and students who truly and meaningfully achieve anti-bullying goals Reward bystanders for intervening or reporting bullying. Reward teachers for establishing bully- free classrooms. Reward support staff for reporting appropriate information; i.e. as is done with tip lines.

37 Caring Majority Program
Invite older students to help create a CARING MAJORITY Train students through workshop sessions Create an “upstander” philosophy “ambassadors” form teams and create their own grade level presentations “ambassadors” take a mentoring role in the grade level they have chosen Caring Majority becomes a part of the school culture and enhances a positive school climate.

38 Caring Majority Ambassadors
Seek the help of students to spread the word about the dangers of bullying - can be done at various ways at all levels Caring Majority Ambassadors - Elementary Caring Allies – Middle School Natural Helpers – High School Training given by principal with support of social worker/psychologist Students train the classmates on the importance of inclusion, empathy and caring about each other On-going partnerships/mentoring established between older and younger students

39 Turning Bystanders into Upstanders
Help students understand the dynamics of bullying situations – 80% of students stand by and watch Train interested students in teaching the strategies of upstanding behaviors Help the students understand the power they have to make a difference – that THEY are the solution

40 Turning Bystanders into Upstanders
Insure that bystanders understand that adults will support their actions Teach all children about the reporting system that is in place in your school Reward “upstanding” behaviors and make them the norm.

41 Factors in Bystander Intervention
Power – when bystanders possess more power than bullies they are more likely to intervene directly position of authority (e.g. school staff) difference in age or strength Safety bystanders more likely to intervene when they feel they have back-up support (other students, school personnel, law enforcement) Social Acceptance environments where speaking up is accepted and valued bystanders are more likely to intervene environments where bullies hold the power to determine acceptance or rejection DISCOURAGE bystanders from speaking up Knowledge of Effective Actions bystanders are more likely to intervene when they are trained in effective intervention strategies

42 How to Begin…. Develop an Action Research Model:
PROBLEM: Too many of our students are coming to school unable to learn because they are consumed by the fear of being bullied/harassed on a daily basis. QUESTION: How can we create effective bullying prevention and intervention in our schools so that ALL children feel emotionally safe and able to learn?

43 bully survey Choose a data collection plan for building climate survey
ACTION PLAN Choose a data collection plan for building bully survey climate survey interviews, questionnaires Review and Interpret Data Develop data- driven Intervention/Prevention Plan Implement intervention training for all constituents Create an effective reporting system Establish a hierarchy of consequences Continually re-assess the effectiveness of the plan (reflection action)

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